2015 Bodegas Castano Hecula Monastrell

Year: 2015
Appellation: Yecla
Country: Spain
Wine Spectator: 89
Wine Advocate: 89
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.0%
Price :
$6.99
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"This juicy red offers black cherry and red plum flavors, balanced by leafy and loamy earth notes. Light tannins and orange peel acidity focus the supple texture, giving way to a refreshingly bitter finish. Drink now through 2023. 6,000 cases imported. -TM" (WS)

"The 2015 Hécula is pure old-vine Monastrell from dry-farmed, head-pruned vineyards on limestone soils within their Las Gruesas and Pozuelo estates in the higher part of the Yecla appellation. Different plots are fermented differently, and the wine aged for an average of six months in barrique. Stylistically, this is somewhere between the floral Monastrell and the more classic Casa Carmela, revamped, with a new image and with a cleaner nose and even some shy flowers. It's higher pitched than the more tarry Casa Carmela (even if I'm comparing different vintages) but not as much as the Monastrell and with less extraction and tannins than in the past. The palate is polished with some fine-grained tannins. 144,000 bottles produced.

Family Castaño has started to use French winemaker-consultant Jean Marc Lafage (Provence) mostly for the blends, starting in 2015. They have had a long-time working relationship with U.S. importer Eric Solomon and Spanish distributor Quim Vila, for whom they produce some custom cuvées. All these wines are now one single bottling, to make sure there is no lot variation. They have reduced maceration time and are experimenting with part of full clusters for the fermentation. These are wines like I hadn't seen before from Castaño." (WA)

Winery Notes:
Created by Ramon Castaño Santa and his 3 sons, Bodegas Castaño is not nearly as old as the vines it owns. Starting quite small, the family has nurtured old plantings and re-planted other parcels and now owns about 400 hectares (10% of the D.O.) in four prime vineyard estates. Bodegas Castaño, as it is known today for its entrepreneurial spirit, focus and vision, really begun in the early 80’s when it slowly and carefully started to experiment with bottling and its state of the art winery facility. The family’s commitment to both quality and the Monastrell variety is unparalleled. Today, Daniel Castaño, one of Ramon’s sons, runs the winery with the help of other members of the family.

Hécula is the name that Yecla received under the Roman Empire occupation.